August 1, 2019

VA wind turbine being taken down

Jake Judd | Jul 31, 2019 AT

The wind turbine at St. Cloud VA started coming down this week after years of sitting idle.

Earlier this year the VA decided to take the turbine down after it hadn’t worked for years despite several past attempts to repair it.

By the end of the week, the 250-foot tall, 107-ton steel structure should be dismantled. The steel will be recycled.

A crane for the deconstruction was put up on Monday and crews took the turbine blades off on Tuesday.

The large gearbox called the Nacelle will come down Wednesday. The tower is three sections and will be brought down next, followed by the base.

VA Public Affairs Officer Barry Venable says it was a disappointing energy project.

“We’re not unhappy to see it go away. The whole time the wind turbine has been non-operational, we’ve been delivering high health care to the veterans of Central Minnesota. We remain focused on that task.”

The turbine functioned from April 2011 to August 2012. If the turbine had worked, the St. Cloud VA would have gotten 15-percent of their electrical power.

The deconstruction is costing VA around $326,000.

The wind turbine was built with $2.3 million in federal stimulus money as part of a pilot project to use renewable energy.

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